Pip Pip hooray for Saints

February 08, 2018

Piup O'Donoghue is looking forward to coaching Benalla's senior netballers this season.

Benalla has announced the exciting coaching appointment of five-time premiership player and two-time premiership playing coach Pip O’Donohue.

O’Donohue last won a premiership with the Saints in 2007 and said the opportunity to come back to a club she had so much success with was too good to pass up.

‘‘It feels like home again. The Saints have always had great young talent and the opportunity to develop that talent was the reason I came back,’’ she said.

Not yet knowing what the team would look like before pre-season started this week, O’Donohue was full of confidence and had one specific goal in mind.

‘‘Our goal is to play finals. That is every team’s goal at the start of the season, but that’s how I will judge our success,’’ she said.

‘‘I will do everything I can to drive this team to the finals and motivate the young talent to improve every week.’’

O’Donohue grew up in Echuca and has enjoyed more than 20 years of playing netball at the highest grade and 15 years of coaching.

She already returned to the club last year, with intentions of taking on the B-reserve coaching role.

But with Dylan Nexhip not continuing in the top job at the club, O’Donoghue will lead the new brigade.

‘‘I was originally coming back to play and coach the B-reserve, but when the opportunity came up for senior coach it brought back so many memories and I wanted the younger players to feel what I felt in those premiership days,’’ she said.

O’Donoghue led Violet Town’s senior team to a Kyabram District league finals appearance in 2016, before coaching the Towners’ under-17 side to a premiership last year.

Benalla has lost some Melbourne-based players, so it is looking for some new home talent to step up and join the team before the season starts.

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